Scarlets lock Jake Ball can consider himself a lucky man after he somehow escaped punishment for a head-height tackle on Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk.
De Klerk’s Sale embarrassed the Scarlets in a one-sided Heineken Champions Cup encounter in Llanelli which saw the English club run out 43-point winners.
While the visitors certainly didn’t need their opponents to go down to 14 men to claim the victory, Sale can still feel aggrieved as a dangerous challenge on their scrum-half went unpunished by the match officials.
How was this shot to the head of Faf de Klerk by Jake Ball not checked properly by the TMO and referee?! They said it was legal because the hand was on and the ball was out, how about the shoulder to head?! French officials hey….pic.twitter.com/GGx5Gu1bg2
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) April 4, 2021
While the Springbok was able to bounce back to his feet after the incident he was clearly not happy with the challenge, and remonstrated to the touch judges to no avail.
While the TMO did actually review the incident for a potential offside, the officials didn’t see fit to punish Ball, whose shoulder made contact with the head of De Klerk.
Previous ill-tempered encounter between the two.
Sunday’s match between the Scarlets and Sale is not the first time Ball and De Klerk have been involved in incident with one another.
The South African scrum-half had clearly gotten on the nerves of the Welshman during their countries’ Rugby World Cup semi-final encounter in 2019, as Ball grabbed de Klerk by the collar during the testy encounter.
The two didn’t come to blows, meaning no sanction was handed out to either of them by the officials, but Ball was clearly not happy with the Springboks’ number nine.
It’s fair to say in their most recent encounter that De Klerk was left the more unhappy of the two following the challenge that is deemed a red card offence under the current law interpretations.